Sunday, February 11, 2018


I never thought of myself as gardener but since retirement and moving into a new home in Trentham, the desire to improve our surroundings has become a bit of a passion. Sue of course finds it difficult to do the physical stuff but she's the expert supervisor. Having said that I do tend to rush off to the nursery to purchase plants the "I" tend to like without consultation with the "Supervisor".

We also have had some great advice from one of our neighbours, Wendy who is an avid gardener. Trentham also has a gardening group and our local nursery has been helpful with advice on the best plants for our climate. Being situated at 700m above sea level we are part of "the Cool Country" and yet we have had a few high 30 to 40 degree days. This summer we've had to keep the water up to the garden and fortunately its survived very well.

This post is to show where we are at after 14 months since moving in to the house. The hard part was shifting the left over builder's rubble, and then getting top soil in, laying gravel drive and pathways.
Then came the satisfying project of building our gardens and seeing them grow.

Recently we had an arbor built - at the base we planted climbing roses that we hope will eventually soften the structure with green, creamy white and pink.
When we first moved in, this area was a mass of builder's rubble and uneven ground.

Just outside our dining room window we've planted a cottage garden that now has got wild. It's a mass of Cosmos, Bluebells, Lavender and Iris amongst other plants that this newborn gardener has no idea of their names. BUT, gosh they all look great.

I've personally loved fern gardens and I found a spot that survives under a cover of several overhanging trees. There's tree ferns with baby tear growing around their base, smaller birds nest ferns and several ground cover plants amongst the mulched garden bed.
A grave path leads you to the fernery and I hope in time that some of the ground cover with border the path and give it a softness.

As we emerge from the fernery, the gravel path takes us to what we call, the maple walk where we have planted four maple trees and to the very left along the fence line we are planting a rosemary hedge.

At the front of the house, we've set-up a little sitting area. This area faces the house with our cypress hedge behind it. The hedge gives us total privacy. Either side of the garden seat are two potted olive trees. The elysium has gone rampant as have the petunias and some cosmos are sprouting delicate white flowers. We are very please with the way this small feature has progressed.

Currently I'm working on the laundry side of the house with the planting of more ground cover plants to grow among gravel pathways I have laid. Most probably we'll add some potted shrubs/trees to add height. This side of the house gets full morning sun so the plants should grow well with TLC.

Another future project is a combined one with my son who has been a wonderful help with the garden. He wants to add a personal vineyard of pinot noir and chardonnay which should grow well in this cool climate.

I wonder where we will be in another twelve months!


  1. wow!! beautiful.. you have a green thumb indeed..

    1. Thank you krishna - it has been very rewarding to enjoy watering the garden on a balmy summer evening.

  2. It looks so summery and inviting! We just had snow. Wanna trade? ;)

    1. We won't trade just yet as will wait for our snow to arrive mid-winter.

  3. Well done, you have produced a great garden and with more growth it will be a birds paradise. I know the feeling of starting out, when we moved here the place was a total mess as not only rubble, but where they dug out the septic tank they spread all the clay that came out all over the garden. We had to get it all up and dispose of it!
    Take care and enjoy, Diane

    1. Thank you for your kind remarks Diane - I remember that mess that you went thru, but we move on and hopefully better for it. Such is the human spirit.

  4. Hurrah you painted the arbour all black. So much nicer. I kept my opinion to myself but it looks wonderful.
    Love Burmese cats. They have such personality!
    Regards Janine


Love to get feedback so no reason to be shy - have your say.